Optometrist warns against the 6 summer jobs you need to apply protective eye-wear for

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As summer approaches and Brits get involved in various indoor and outdoor activities, it's important to be aware of the potential hidden dangers that can affect our eyes during everyday tasks.

Malcolm Maciver, optometrist at Leightons Opticians, has highlighted and warned the public about everyday jobs that may not seem risky, but warrant protective eyewear.

Gardening and lawn mowing:

Lawn mowing season typically begins in spring, around mid-March, when most people have their first grass cut of the year. From then on, it's common to mow the lawn at least once a week. However, many of us may be unknowingly putting ourselves at risk. Optometrists warn that each household's dedicated gardener could be endangering their eyes.

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Malcolm Maciver, optometrist at Leightons Opticians explains:“Wearing safety glasses when gardening or mowing the lawn is highly recommended to protect your eyesight. When mowing, flying debris such as rocks, twigs or even plant fragments can pose a serious threat to your eyes. Certain plants may have sharp edges or thorns that can cause injury on contact not just when mowing but when gardening. Wearing safety glasses creates a barrier between your eyes and potential hazards, reducing the risk of injury and preserving your vision.”

Lighting and cooking on a BBQ

Recent research from Leightons reveals that Google search interest for ‘BBQs’ peaks every May and June, and has done so for the last five years worldwide. So, ahead of the BBQ season, they offer advice worth considering.

“When lighting a BBQ, sparks and hot debris can fly unpredictably during ignition and can cause burns or serious eye injury. Without protection, these hazards pose a risk of eye irritation or damage so it's important to wear protective eye-wear. Even once the BBQ is lit, safety eyewear is highly recommended whilst cooking, especially with spicy foods such as chillies or onions. Handling these ingredients can release irritants that can cause discomfort if they come into contact with the eyes, eyewear acts as a barrier, preventing such irritants from reaching the eyes and ensuring a safer cooking experience. While there is a risk with coals/charcoal, the others on the list may give discomfort but will be washed out and neutralised by the tear film."

DIY home projects and renovations:

Further research from Leighton’s revealed that the keyword "home renovation" peaks in interest during the summer months, particularly in June. This is likely due to better weather conditions for renovation projects. Therefore, if you're planning to improve your house this June, an optometrist advises investing in safety eyewear.

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“Summer is the perfect time for people to start home improvements and wearing safety eyewear during DIY home projects and renovations is highly recommended to protect your eyes. Common DIY tasks such as woodworking, drilling or sanding can create flying particles that pose a risk and irritation to your eyes. Additionally, hammering, sawing or painting can pose a potential risk to your eyes from flying debris, dust or splashes of paint getting into our eyes. Without proper protection, these airborne particles can cause eye irritation, scratches or even more serious injuries. By wearing safety eyewear, you can ensure a safer and more comfortable experience when working on DIY projects or home renovations.”

Spring cleaning:

With ‘Cleaning’ gaining 3.2 million hashtags on TikTok, it is the perfect time of year to give your house a big clean. But if you’re using cleaning products containing harsh chemicals, it’s worth knowing the ways to stay protected.

“Wearing safety eyewear during spring cleaning is highly recommended as using cleaning solutions can result in accidental splashes or exposure to irritating fumes. Without protection, these chemicals and substances can splash into contact with the eyes, causing irritation or burning.”

Bike riding:

Whether your child is cycling during the school week in September, or you're simply encouraging them to get out during the summer holidays, you wouldn't let your child ride their bike without a helmet. So consider picking up a pair of sunglasses for them. Not only are sunglasses stylish, they can also offer protection against UV rays, dust, and pollen as suggested by an optometrist.

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“For outdoor activities such as cycling, this can expose your eyes to dust, pollen and UV rays from the sun which could cause eye irritation. That's why it’s important to wear UV-protective sunglasses that offer impact-resistant lenses, providing an extra layer of defence against flying debris or accidental knocks during sports or activities.”

Jump-starting a car:

As temperatures rise with the approach of warmer weather, the likelihood of cars overheating and potentially breaking down increases.

“If you're faced with a car with a dead battery and need to jump start it, it's essential to wear safety goggles when starting the car due to the potential hazards associated with battery acid or sparks. Accidental contact with battery acid can cause severe eye irritation or burns, leading to discomfort and possible long-term damage if left untreated. Wearing safety goggles during jump starting will ensure your safety and minimise the risk of eye injury.”

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